Saturday, September 29, 2012
We are in a time now where it has become possible to reach out far beyond our own neighborhoods and even our own borders to connect with a wider group of people. Because of the internet and social blogging/networking sites we meet a plethora of groups of people from every walk of life. Sometimes deep and abiding friendships are formed. Binding us for many years to relationships of support, camaraderie and sometimes everlasting love.
The very fact that we "talk" with these friends so easily via our computers cements the familiarity we feel. We get to know their families, their friends and we exchange a lifetime of stories that help us to know each other in sometimes intimate ways. We could be no more greatly connected than if we lived with these people in our own neighborhoods for our entire lives. W know their triumphs, their sorrows, and their joys. We become friends in every sense of the word.
Many times people find those who become their life partners on the internet. And even when it might take many years to finally find a way to manifest into each others physical reality, the time and distance has no bearing on the emotional attachment and commitment the two develop.
I've known personally many of my friends who have traversed this unfamiliar path. Finding ways to navigate these new waters with grace and dignity, selflessness, love and commitment. Some have moved great distances, even leaving their own homelands to be with their loved one. Others have had to let it go and walk away, finding that the distance and the effort and money spent trying to build a life together, too much of a burden, the forced separation, too painful to bear. Some of the difficulties couples like this who desire to be together, is made more impossible by government regulations about travel, immigration, citizenship and health care.
There are as many different situations as there are people who create them. No one way is the right way to continue and develop relationships in this ever shifting time we fine ourselves in now. What if you find yourself in a relationship that seems to be at a standstill? What if your plans and dreams to be united with a loved one seems to be taking forever in becoming a reality?
This forces us to take a moment to think of what we are giving and getting from these kinds of relationships. We have apparently created them this way for our personal life lessons. We must look inside and ask why are we continuing when so many obstacles stand before us. I might interject here that we put those obstacles up. We are not victims of some outside invisible force that puts them there. The obstacles we create have their functions. And when we are done with whatever lesson that obstacle was in place for, it seems to disappear.
The most important thing in this globalized neighborhood I think we should remember, is to find the joy in every relationship. Look for the love that is there. Sometimes when two are joined, one of the two will be able to do more, or give more at some particular time than the other. That's ok as long as the one giving realizes that's the job they took on. If one feels they are getting depleted or tired or discouraged, there is no shortage of friends they can find, that give back support to them that can lift them back up again. If a relationship hurts beyond bearing you can let it go. But remember that you might have decided yourself to experience that kind of hurt and disappointment. We are all mirrors for each other. Every time you draw someone in that causes heartache you must ask yourself, "what did I need that for? What is it about me that I am wanting to learn?" When you are able to answer that question honestly, you can be grateful to the one who held that mirror up for you, that they agreed to help you in that way, and you can love them for that.
Yes, we are in a time of re-defining relationships. We no longer are limited to the way of living in a community for all our lives, seeing the same faces, marrying and raising our children in that same community. We are reaching out, we are expanding our horizons and our way of living. Sometimes we might "know" someone online for many years without ever meeting face to face but we grow very fond of and we love deeply. We spend many years laughing together, crying together, arguing together. Never meeting face to face does not diminish the emotional commitment we make to each other. But it does mean that we are learning a new way to be together. To be connected.